Microsoft Excel provides password protection to keep valuable data secure. You can protect your sheets using a password to prevent others from modifying the original data.

A protected excel sheet can only be viewed and not edited. To unlock the file, you will require the password, and in case you don't have it or cannot remember it, your files will remain locked.

This article introduces ways to unprotect excel sheets without passwords and make data accessible again!

Part 1: How to Unprotect Excel Sheet without Password

If you are stuck with a protected excel sheet, you can try using one of the following ways to unprotect the file. Read below to find out.

Option 1: Via PassFab for Excel

Excel password encryption can restrict your sheets; however, you can remove the password and access the data in no time. PassFab for Excel is a great tool to recover or remove excel protected sheet passwords without harming the data.

PassFab is known for its password recovery and resets tools that guarantee safe unlocks in a few minutes. Below are the steps on how to unprotect an excel sheet without password using PassFab for Excel:

  • Download and launch the PassFab for Excel software.
  • On the home screen, you will find options to either recover or remove the excel sheet password. Click the option you want to choose and follow the steps accordingly.

    excel password recovery
  • Tap on the + option to import the protected excel file you wish to unlock.

    brute force attack
  • You will have to choose from the three ways you wish the software could recover your file's password. When you're done, click on Recover.
  • You'll see a dialogue box containing your password once it locates the software successfully finds it. You can now use the obtained password to get into the Excel file.

    password found

To remove the password so you don't have to enter it later, go to the File tab, select encrypt with a password and click on Erase to remove the password.

Remove Excel Restriction Password

  • Import your protected excel file through the + option. And click on the Remove button when the file is uploaded.

    passfab for excel
  • You are done waiting a few minutes for the file to unlock! You can use the unprotected file to access the data without any password.

    passfab for excel

Video Guide

Watch this video guide to learn how to use this amazing tool to regain access to your password locked Excel sheet.

Option 2: Via Google Sheets

You can also try Google Sheets to unprotect your excel sheet without a password. You must have a Google Drive account to use this method. Follow the steps below:

  • Click the New button in the top left corner of your Google Drive account.
  • From the menu, select Google Sheets > Blank spreadsheet.

    google spreadsheet
  • Click File and choose Import in the toolbar of the empty spreadsheet.

    import google file
  • Select the Upload option from the menu and click the Select a file from your device button in the Import file dialogue box.

    upload google file
  • Select the Excel workbook you want to unlock and click Open. It will be uploaded.

    open google file
  • Select the Replace spreadsheet option and press the Import Data button in the Import file box.

    replace spreadsheet
  • The data from your excel sheet will import into Google Sheets, where you can access and edit it without a password.

    google sheet
  • To save the file as an Excel file, go to the File menu, choose the Download option, select the Format as Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) and click on Save.

    save as file

Option 3: Via VBA Code

VBA works most of the time to unprotect excel sheets without passwords. This method works for all Microsoft Versions and contains a few easy steps. Here's how to unlock a sheet in Excel:

  • Select Visual Basic from the Developer menu. To open the Module window, choose Insert, and then choose Module.

    visual basic insert module
  • Enter the following code in the Module Window:

    vba code
  • Close the Visual Basic window after pressing the Ctrl + S key to save the code.
  • You only need to save the code using Excel 2010 or an earlier version. You will then see a message box. To unlock the Excel sheet without a password, press OK.
  • Else, click on the File tab in the next step.

    click file
  • Then, in the Save As an area, choose Excel 97-2003 Workbook (*.xls) as the file type.

    choose excel wrkbook
  • Open the file you saved in the previous step at this point and choose Macros under the Developer tab.

    developer tab
  • In the Macro Window, please choose the desired code, then execute it.

    macro name
  • A message window with an incorrect password will display right away. You don't need to keep the password in mind, so don't worry. Click OK to continue.

Option 4: Via Zip File

Another trick you can try is by using a Zip file. It may help you unlock your Excel file without a password. Follow the steps below to unprotect your Excel sheet with Zip.

  • Open the File Explorer options window in the Control Panel. To enable your file extensions, uncheck the Hide Extensions for Known File Types box in the File Explorer Options window.

    change file name extension
  • Click Apply to put the changes into effect and OK to shut the window. Your files' file extensions are now displayed.
  • Now find the secured Excel file on your computer, rename it, and convert the .xlsx extension to .zip.

    content type
  • To change the extension, right-click the file, choose Rename and then swap out .xlsx for .zip. Then press Enter and choose Yes from the question box for Rename. Your Excel document is now a Zip file.
  • Extract the Zip file after that, as stated below. In our scenario, the /xl/ folder contains almost everything in our Excel workbook, making it the most significant folder to examine. We can now recognize them as separate .xml files.
  • Go to xl ->worksheets -> sheet 1.xml now (which is the protected sheet). You can view a list of all sheets in your workbook (in XML format) by opening the /xl/worksheets/ directory. Afterward, open the sheet 1.xml file in Notepad or WordPad.
  • Find the following tag and remove it:


    Finding the sheet protection tag will be challenging if the worksheet has a lot of data. Therefore, activate the Find feature by pressing Ctrl + F and entering protection in the Find what box. You can now choose to delete the sheetProtection by selecting it.

    excelsheet protection
  • After that, save the XML file and zip up all the extracted files. Return the .zip extension to .xlsx after that.

    add to archive change name
  • Now check your spreadsheet by opening it. It won't be secured. Only workbooks with password protection can use this technique. This approach won't function if the file is encrypted with a password or otherwise guaranteed.

Part 2: How to Unprotect Excel Sheet with Password?

If you know your Excel Sheet's password, it only takes seconds to remove the password and unprotect your sheet for modification. This is what you need to do:

  • Right-click on the Sheet tab and select Unprotect Sheet from the Context menu.
  • Click Unprotect Sheet under the Changes group under the Review tab. unprotect sheet excel
  • OR

  • Click Format in the Cells group under the Home tab, then choose Unprotect Sheet from the drop-down menu.  reviewunprotect sheet
  • One more approach to password-protect an Excel spreadsheet
  • Excel will prompt you to input the password if you work with a password-protected worksheet. Click OK after entering the password.
  • The worksheet could be unlocked by clicking the Unprotect Sheet button if it wasn't password-protected. unprotect sheet

Final Notes

You might get stuck with a protected Excel Sheet if you don't know the password to access it. In such a case, you can use an online unlocking tool such as PassFab for Excel, which lets you unprotect excel sheets without password in no time!